Sunday, January 22, 2017

BALSAMIC CHICKEN & GARDEN MEDLEY with PASTA

Meat
6-8 boneless chicken breasts

Marinade
3 gloves garlic
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp crushed rosemaryy
2 tsp of italian seasons
salt and pepper
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Veggies
2 medium zucchini, sliced
2 large onions, sliced into rings
1 each green, yellow, red, orange bell pepper, sliced into strips

Pasta
2 lbs thin spaghetti
1 clove garlic, minced
Parmesan cheese


DIRECTIONS

Marinate chicken and veggies separately. Place chicken pieces and veggies in separate ziploc bags and divide marinade mixture evenly enough to ensure all will coat well.  Marinate overnight or at the least, several hours.

At 450 degree F, roast chicken and vegetables separately. The secret to this begin so good is to leave it in the oven long enough for the chicken and veggies to get blackened edges.  Turn chicken and veggies so they do not dry out or burn.  Chicken will finish in about 30-40 mins; the veggies about 50-60 mins.

Sauté olive oil and minced garlic for a couple of minutes. Lightly toss with pasta.  Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Warm Chili & Cheese Dip

INGREDIENTS
1 can (15oz) chili with meat, no beans
1 brick (8oz) cream cheese
1 pacakage (10 oz) shredded cheddarr cheese
a handful fresh cilantro, chopped

tortilla chips
bell peppers (yellow, green and red), seeded and cut into thing strips, lengthwise



DIRECTIONS

combine chili, cream cheese and cheddar in saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until smooth.
stir in cilantro and transfer to fondue pot or oven-safe bowl, warmed in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes.


Serve with tortilla chips or platter of tai-colored pepper strips.
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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Washington DC

Friday, the 20th of January is Inauguration Day. Instead of focusing on the politics, I thought I'd share the trip we took this fall to Washington DC. 
 Students from Great Britain took a two week trip to visit our country.  Todd and I hosted one of the teachers who came along to chaperone.  My favorite day trip we took was to see our nations Capitol.  It was a gorgeous day and I enjoyed walking throughout DC to see all the monuments.

 Mr. Trump recently opened a hotel in DC.  We happened to pass by on our way to lunch.  It just looked like another hotel with flashy gold signs everywhere.  Honestly I wasn't that impressed.
With all the uproar during this years election, the British visitors were fascinated with our presidental  debates and learned a lot about our political process. 
In fact, I learned A LOT during this election too. It was inspiring to see all 3 of my boys get involved with politics and have civil conversations about it.  


 The most excitement we had was getting caught in the middle of a protest in front of the White House.  We got to see Secret Service men run across the White House lawn chasing someone down.  You could see the sharp shooters on top of the roof from where we stood.  It was difficult to get photos because of the extra security blocking tourists off from getting too close to the gate.
Whether we like it or not, Mr. Trump will become our 45th president and will take up residence in the White House for the next 4 years.
I just hope there won't be gold glitter and neon flashing signs in the lawn.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

CHICKEN & SAUSAGE CASSOULET

INGREDIENTS
2-3 large pieces of skinless, boneless chick breast
4 sweet sausages
2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil (twice around the pan)
1 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion, peeled and chopped 
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white win
1 can (15oz) cannelloni beans (white beans)
6 springs fresh thyme (leaves stripped from stem & chopped)
1 bay leaf
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (14oz) no-fat, low sodium chicken broth



DIRECTIONS

Dice chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat a deep pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and whole sausages and diced chicken to the pot. Brown until done (approx 5 minutes). Remove sausages and chicken; set aside.

Add olive oil. Cook carrot, celery, and onion for 5 minutes, frequently giving the pot a good shake. Add garlic. Douse pan with wine and scrape up all the good bits of gunk. Add beans, thyme, bay leaf, sale and pepper, tomatoes, and broth.

Slice sausages into bite-size pieces and return sausages and chicken to pan to finish cooking. Bring dish to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf.


Serve with toasted french bread rounds.
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